Coronavirus Updates: Former world champion boxer L Sarita Devi on Monday tested positive for COVID-19 along with her husband Thoiba Singh but both of them are asymptomatic.
Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal announced he was going into self-quarantine after he came into contact with the Bathinda district police chief who has been infected with the virus.
A serosurvey jointly carried put by IISER, PMC, and the Pune University has found a seroprevalence of 51.5 percent in five high-incidence administrative zones of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). The study found that there has been an "extensive spread" of the infection in the five areas studied: seroprevalence ranging from 36.1 percent to 65.4 percent across all types of dwellings.
All the essential and other services, which were allowed in the state of Bihar, will still be permitted under the new extended lockdown.
India also reported 57,981 cases in 24 hours, taking the total count to 26,47,663. There are now 6,76,900 active cases, while as many as 19,19,842 people have recovered.
India reports 1,28,491 new cases over the weekend as total rises to 25.8 lakh and toll nears 50,000 mark
India's COVID-19 case fatality rate on Sunday dropped to 1.93 percent, which is one of the lowest globally, the Union health ministry said.
"The USA crossed 50,000 deaths in 23 days, Brazil in 95 days and Mexico in 141 days. India took 156 days to reach this national figure," the ministry underscored as the number of fatalities due to the novel coronavirus infection in the country reached 49,980.
Implementation of testing aggressively, tracking comprehensively and treating efficiently through a plethora of measures have contributed to the existing high level of recoveries as well, it said.
The total number of recoveries in the country rose to 18,62,258 on Sunday, according to official data.
From 3.33 percent on 18 June, the CFR has declined to 1.93 percent, while India's recovery rate among COVID-19 patients has reached nearly 72 per cent.
A total of 53,322 patients recuperated and were discharged in a span of 24 hours.
"The steady rise in recoveries has ensured that the percentage caseload of the country is reducing," the ministry said highlighting there are 6,77,444 active cases of coronavirus infection which compose the actual caseload of the country and comprise 26.16 percent of the total cases as on date.
The country reported 63,489 COVID-19 cases and 944 deaths in the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, hectic preparations are underway for the Monsoon Session of Parliament with several first-time measures in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include staggered sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and use of both chambers and galleries to accommodate members while following physical distancing norms, officials said.
In the United States, the country's health watchdog has authorised the emergency use of a new and inexpensive saliva based laboratory diagnostic test for COVID-19 that could be a game changer in the diagnosis of the infection as it will enable rapid testing amongst more people easily.
Chetan Chauhan dies of COVID-19-related complications
Former India cricketer Chetan Chauhan passed away at the age of 73 in Gurugram, Haryana due to COVID-19-related complications.
"My elder brother Shri Chetan Chauhan has left us today after fighting a good battle. I sincerely thank everyone who had prayed for his recovery. His son Vinayak will be reaching anytime and we will then perform last rites," Chauhan's brother Pushpendra told PTI.
File image of former India cricketer Chetan Chauhan. News18
Chauhan, who was was serving as the Minister of Sainik Welfare, Home Guards, and Civil Security in the Uttar Pradesh cabinet, had developed a multi-organ failure on Saturday and was put on a life support system. The 73-year-old had tested positive for COVID-19 on 12 July and was admitted to Sanjay Gandhi PGI Hospital in Lucknow. Due to kidney-related ailments, he was shifted to Medanta hospital in Gurugram.
Precautionary measures planned for Monsoon Session
The Monsoon Session is likely to begin in the last week of August or early September.
According to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, members of the Upper House will be seated in both chambers and galleries during the session.
This is the first time in the history of Indian Parliament since 1952 that such an arrangement will be in place, where 60 members will be seated in the chamber and 51 in the galleries of Rajya Sabha and the remaining 132 in the chamber of Lok Sabha.
Similar seating arrangements are being worked out by the Lok Sabha Secretariat as well.
For the first time, large display screens and consoles for participation from galleries, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, special cables between the two Houses and polycarbonate separators will be in place.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla at a meeting on 17 July, after detailed examination of various options for holding the session, decided on using the chambers and galleries of both the Houses.
Naidu has directed officials to complete preparations for the session by the third week of August when testing, rehearsal and final inspection would be carried out. The Rajya Sabha Secretariat has been working overtime for the last two weeks to ensure full preparedness, officials said.
While both Houses usually function simultaneously, this time due to extraordinary circumstances, one House will sit during morning hours and the other in the evening, sources told PTI.
Ganesh pandals, Moharram processions not to be allowed in Delhi
In an order issued on 14 August to all district magistrates, DCPs and other authorities concerned, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority said that people will be encouraged to celebrate festivals at their homes in the city.
Chief Secretary Vijay Dev said all DMs and district commissioners of police will hold meetings with religious leaders before any festival that has the possibility of a large gathering to get their cooperation to maintain law and order, harmony and also to sensitise people to comply with guidelines.
Dev, who is also the chairman of DDMA's state executive committee, said it should be ensured that the crowd does not gather in any religious or social places.
"During Ganesh Chaturthi Festival, no idol of Lord Ganesha shall be set up in the tent/pandal/ public place, nor any kind of permission shall be granted for procession... similarly, no permission shall be granted for procession/tajiya during Moharram," the order stated.
Sufficient police force will be deployed in all communally sensitive areas and containment zones across the city, it said.
The chief secretary directed officials to make all necessary arrangements for checking at all public places, bus stands, railway stations, sensitive and religious places before any festival.
Due arrangements should be made for deployment of dog squads, anti-terrorist squads and bomb disposal teams for intensive search and checking at religious and public places as per requirement, it stated.
USFDA clears simple saliva test for faster detection of COVID-19
Stephen Hahn, the US Food and Drugs Administration Commissioner, said that a new saliva test that has recently been cleared for emergency use would increase efficiency and avoid shortage of crucial test components like reagents.
Providing this type of flexibility for processing saliva samples to test for COVID-19 infection is groundbreaking in terms of efficiency and avoiding shortages of crucial test components like reagents, he said in a statement.
The agency has previously authorised four other tests that use saliva for sampling, but these yielded varying results.
The US has been plagued by an inconsistent strategy for detecting the virus, thanks in part to persistent shortages and the use of a variety of different tests that have sometimes yielded unreliable results.
The new method called SalivaDirect is being further validated as a test for asymptomatic individuals through a programme that tests players and staff from the National Basketball Association (NBA).
SalivaDirect is simpler, less expensive and less invasive than the traditional method for such testing known as nasopharyngeal (NP) swabbing.
Results so far have found that SalivaDirect is highly sensitive and yields similar outcomes as NP swabbing.
In Maharashtra, 11,111 new COVID-19 cases, 8,837 discharges, and 288 deaths were reported on Sunday, according to the Public Health Department of the state. The total number of cases now stands at 5,95,865, including 1,58,395 active cases, 4,17,123 discharges and 20,037 deaths.
Tamil Nadu recorded 5,950 new positive cases, 6,019 discharges and 125 deaths reported on Sunday, according to the State Health Department. The total number of cases rise to 3,38,055 including 54,019 active cases, 2,78,270 discharges and 5,766 deaths.
In Andhra Pradesh, 8,012 new cases, 10,117 recoveries, and 88 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases in the state now stands at 2,89,829, including 85,945 active cases, 2,01,234 recovered cases, and 2,650 deaths, according to the State Health Department.
Delhi reported 652 new positive cases, 1310 discharges/recoveries, and eight deaths on Sunday. The total number of cases in the national capital now stands at 1,52,580 including 1,37,561 recovered and migrated patients, 10,823 active cases, and 4,196 deaths.
The COVID-19 count in Bihar reached 1,04,093, including 537 deaths. According to the state health department, the number of active cases in the state stands at 30,989 while 72,566 patients have been cured discharged to date.
With inputs from agencies